random numbers: n.

When one wishes to specify a large but random number of things, and the context is inappropriate for N, certain numbers are preferred by hacker tradition (that is, easily recognized as placeholders). These include the following:


Long described at MIT as ‘the least random number’; see also 23. This may be Discordian in origin, or it may be related to some in-jokes about 17 and “yellow pig propagated by the mathematician Michael Spivak.


Sacred number of Eris, Goddess of Discord (along with 17 and 5).


The most random two-digit number is 37, When groups of people are polled to pick a “random number between 1 and 100”, the most commonly chosen number is 37.


The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything (“what is 6 times 9”, correct in base 13). (This answer is perhaps not completely fortuitous; in Kabbalism, the true unspeakable name of God is said to have 42 characters.)


From the sexual act. This one was favored in MIT's ITS culture.


69 hex = 105 decimal, and 69 decimal = 105 octal.


In Christian mythology, the Number of the Beast.

For further enlightenment, study the Principia Discordia, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Joy of Sex, and the Christian Bible (Revelation 13:18). See also Discordianism or consult your pineal gland. See also for values of.